HONOLULU (KHON2) — Starting July 1, 2021, people with disability parking passes or license plates will need to pay for metered parking unless you were approved for the new Disability Paid Parking Exemption Permit.

Those with the new permit can park in a space where payment is made via (1) a parking meter without payment of the fee for the first 2.5 hours or the maximum time the meter allows, whichever is longer; or (2) an unattended pay station for 2.5 hours. The DPPEP may also be used to park in a reserved accessible parking space.

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Those with red or blue parking passes or special license plates are still able to park in reserved handicap parking spaces.

The law aims to stop friends or family of a placard holder from using it to park for free.

“People use the permit of other say a relative or friend to obtain parking privileges including parking at meters without paying the parking meter fee,” said Kirby Shaw, executive director of the Disability and Community Access Board.

Now, those who have a driver’s license and a disability that prevents them from reaching or using a parking meter must apply for a new permit, which will need to be approved by a registered nurse or doctor.

Shaw says that accounts for an estimated 7,000 of the 102,000 placard holders in the state.

But the Hawaii Disability Rights Center says this could make things more difficult for those with disabilities.

“The people who we represent whenever we heard from them they were concerned about the bill,” said Hawaii Disability Rights Center Executive Director Louis Erteschik. “Honestly I think the truth that you find in these kind of instances is once a benefit is already there for people it’s not easy to take it away,”

Shaw says the change isn’t meant to create more revenue or parking spaces, but it could happen.

“It might and it should free up more spaces or it would cause people to have to pay for it if they’re going to occupy a space all day long,” Shaw said.

The application is available at Satellite City Halls in the City and County of Honolulu, DMVL offices in the Counties of Maui and Kaua’i, and at the Office of Aging in the County of Hawai’i. For more information, call DCAB at (808) 586-8121 or to download the form at https://health.hawaii.gov/dcab/.